Larch Valley and Lake Louise Hostel with Anián
The fall colours can be spectacular in the rocky mountains but occasionally winter arrives faster than we can get out to enjoy the scenery. This year we had a large snow fall in the Banff area in September, but it warmed up enough that Ken and I wanted to get out for another adventure in the hills. I also had the opportunity to try out some really amazing wool shirt jackets from BC company Anián . My cousin works as a health practitioner at Nimmo Bay Resort and she was wearing Anián during a visit to #yyc and I have been in love with their shirt jackets ever since. The company is focused on using predominately recycled natural fibres in an attempt to further chip away at the mountain of consumption the clothing industry is creating. Their natural wool shirt jackets should last you a lifetime. I wanted to blog about their clothing, our hike and our surprisingly awesome mountain accommodations.
I had my sights on the beautiful Larch Valley hike that begins at Moraine Lake in Banff. As a photographer, I really wanted to get an nice early start so I could capture the beauty of the larch trees. Larches are deciduous trees that turn colour and lose their needles in the autumn. We live over two hours drive away from the hike though. We considered camping in the area but honestly, the nights are getting very cold now in the alpine so I had a great idea about where we could stay and not spend a bundle. I checked out the website of the HiHostel Lake Louise and booked us a private room immediately because it was such a bargain. The last hostel I stayed in was Preikestolen Mountain Lodge in Norway, so the bar is fairly high on my experience of hostels. I loved it. Our room was super basic in the most Wes Anderson way, including a fabulous painting of a deer and retro fantastic plywood furniture. We only had to step out of our bedroom door for the shared bathroom and the kitchen was well appointed. We walked over to the Post Hotel Bar and enjoyed a beverage and dinner at a really good price. That’s my pro-tip. Skip the Post Hotel Restaurant and just go eat in the bar! It was quite cool that evening so we wore our new Shirt Jackets and did a little shoot on the grounds of the Hostel and the Hotel. You can see a bunch more photos on my flickr album here .
Next morning we got up at a fairly reasonable 5:30 am, made coffee in the kitchen, packed our lunches and headed up the Moraine lake road and the hike. We started out wearing headlamps but pre-dawn brought some spectacular light fairly quickly. The trail to Larch Valley is super, pretty and easy. A few photos were taken and then we continued on up to Sentinel Pass. There was a lot of snow. Side hiking up to the pass with only one other hikers footsteps was not my fav but I imagine by midday, there was a well trodden trail. I was astounded with the views though so I highly recommend the hike for next year if you can’t make it out before the Moraine Lake road closes. I feel like this little trip was the perfect end to a summer spent mostly outdoors. I want to thank Anián for the shirts they sent to me and Ken. I highly recommend this Canadian company because they are producing amazing natural products with as much sustainability as possible.